“A ZERO tolerance” approach is being taken in a bid to address anti-social behaviour in Haddington town centre.

Police Scotland, East Lothian Council and other groups are working together to tackle the issue.

Joint police and council advisory letters are being sent to parents and carers whose children have been identified as being in areas associated with anti-social behaviour.

Furthermore, plans are being drawn up to extend the provision of youth facilities in the area.

Chief Inspector Neil Mitchell, Police Scotland’s Local Area Commander for East Lothian, is among those involved in the scheme.

He said: “We will continue to take preventative measures to combat anti-social behaviour and have adopted a zero tolerance approach to those involved in disorder.

“This has included introducing increased patrols and utilising specialist national resources to supplement local officers.

“In addition to the work ongoing through the PSP [Problem Solving Partnershop], Operation Juneau, which targets substance misuse and its related disorder, has a significant footprint in the town.

“Collectively with our partners, and the assistance of the public, we will ensure Haddington remains a safe place to live, work and visit.”

The town’s PSP has been reconvened to address a rise in anti-social behaviour.

As well as police and members of East Lothian Council, the Haddington and Lammermuir ward councillors – Shamin Akhtar, Craig Hoy, John McMillan and Tom Trotter – are involved, alongside the town’s community council and representatives from local residents and business associations.

The objective of the multi-agency PSP is to design and implement a strategy to tackle anti-social behaviour in the area.

Already, measures taken include an increase in the number of police officers, community wardens and youth workers being deployed to the area at peak times.

Two mobile CCTV cameras have been installed and enforcement action is being taken against persistent offenders.

Kenneth Black, East Lothian Council’s safer communities team manager and chairman of the PSP, said: “Anti-social behaviour has to be addressed from a number of different angles and the PSP is seeking to do that by the taking of preventative, diversionary and enforcement steps when necessary.

“Local elected members, alongside local resident and business representatives, are instrumental to the decision-making process of the PSP, and it’s hoped that this joined-up approach will deliver long-term solutions to the problems that are being reported.”

In a serious recent incident, a couple were robbed by a masked man while they walked beside the River Tyne on October 1.

The couple were approached by a man wearing a black face covering, who asked to use a mobile phone before producing a weapon and robbing them.

The incident happened shortly after 9.50pm near St Mary’s Parish Church, with the man, who is described as white and about 30 years old, fleeing in the direction of Nungate Bridge after his female victim ran to contact the police.

Anti-social behaviour can be reported to East Lothian Council via the anti-social behaviour helpline on 01875 824307 or online at www.eastlothian.gov.uk

All calls are treated with the strictest confidence.